Their Excellencies Sir Rodney and Lady Williams, Patron and President respectively of the Halo Foundation, recently held an inauguration ceremony at Government House during which the Blue Dragonfly Foundation was welcomed as a charity under the patronage of the Governor General.
The Foundation was recently launched in Antigua and Barbuda to bring the first integrated specialist autism services to the twin island state.
Founder Caroline Hopton said, “The [not for profit organisation’s] physical facility will offer a unique, holistic and lifelong service to autistic adults, to help them achieve the necessary skills for work within our planned diverse social enterprises.
“We will assist our learners to gain the necessary life skills to become as independent as possible. Ours is a ’transitional’ service for young adults leaving education when they meet a ‘cliff edge’ — when it comes to further education, training and work opportunities.”
Caroline, through her experience over the past 24 years in dealing with her two sons on the autism spectrum (both who were born and raised in Antigua), said she has learned that a model of autism specific support is necessary for many.
She explained that the Foundation will serve autistic persons of all abilities, and will also assist those schools on both islands that require the training of staff, in order to better support their students with autism and/or learning difficulties.
Lady Williams commended Hopton on her initiative while Sir Rodney congratulated her on the progress of the organisation to date.